When motorcyclists are out on the road, they’re much more vulnerable than your average driver. This is why it’s important for motorcyclists to always wear riding gear no matter what. If you were on your motorcycle when a driver suddenly crashed into you, contact The W. Winston Briggs Law Firm in Atlanta, Georgia, who serves personal injury clients throughout Georgia and Florida.
The W. Winston Briggs Law Firm has over three decades of experience representing clients. W. Winston Briggs, who founded the firm, has tried over 200 jury trials throughout his career. He is a hardworking litigator who is known for retrieving higher settlements for his clients. When you’ve been in an accident and need a fighter on your side, you can contact W. Winston Briggs Law Firm for a free initial consultation.
Why You Need to Wear Riding Gear
Motorcycle accidents happen all the time in Georgia, and unfortunately, it ranks 18th in the nation for the highest rate of motorcycle fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2018, the number of motorcyclists killed nationwide was 4,985, and motorcycle riders are always overrepresented in traffic fatalities.
Motorcyclists are at a higher risk of being hit than drivers in cars for a number of reasons. Fist of all, they’re harder to see. Cars and trucks are large enough to see, but a driver may not notice a motorcyclist on the road.
Certain motorcycles have a lot of maintenance issues as well. If debris accumulates, then it could corrode parts of the motorcycle and lead to your bike breaking down while you’re riding it. If you break down in the middle of the highway and don’t have time to pull over, you could become seriously injured. A motorcycle may also be susceptible to poor chain lubrication, which could lead to a sudden failure, or it could catch on fire due to a fuel system failure.
Motorcyclists may engage in risky behavior like speeding and lane cutting, even though it’s prohibited in the state of Georgia and can result in an accident. If they are reckless, then there is a higher chance of them getting hit.
Even if other drivers are being reckless, a motorcyclist is not following the law, or a motorcycle breaks down, having riding gear on could save a motorcyclist’s life and protect them from becoming injured.
The Type of Riding Gear You Need
Before you get on your motorcycle, make sure you have the right riding gear. This includes a helmet that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. To determine if your helmet is suitable, you can look for the DOT symbol, which should be on the outside back of the helmet.
Along with a helmet, you need to wear the proper clothing. This would include a motorcycle-approved jacket or a leather jacket. Some jackets provide extra protection such as armor plates in high-impact places such as your shoulders, elbows, and back, as well as impact dispersion technology so that you have additional protection in a crash.
Never wear shorts when riding; instead, opt for pants made for riding motorcycles. These will have ventilation, abrasion resistance, and padding. If you go on your bike in shorts and get hit or fall off, your injuries could be much more severe.
You should also put on sturdy work boots that will cover your ankles, all weather eyewear, and real leather or synthetic gloves. If you aren’t sure what type of gear to purchase, visit a motorcycle apparel store and ask a professional, experienced rider.
Additional Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riding
Before hopping on your motorcycle, make sure that it’s mechanically sound. You should take it to the mechanic whenever you notice any issues as well as for regular appointments. Check your lights to ensure they are working prior to hitting the road and look at your tires for any wear and tear. See if you notice any oil leaks and check your fluids at least once a week.
Then, check the weather report. If it’s supposed to rain or snow or there’s fog and cars will have low visibility, reconsider riding on your motorcycle. If the weather conditions are normal, then when you get on your motorcycle, check the brakes, adjust the mirrors, honk the horn, and see if the clutch and throttle are functioning properly.
When you’re riding, always use your signals, keep to the speed limits, put down any distractions like your phone, and don’t cut in between lanes. Following the law is critical at all times. Signaling in advance, looking out for other vehicles, and avoiding drivers’ blind spots can also keep you out of harm’s way.
What You Should Do in an Accident
If you were riding your motorcycle when you got hit, you will need to pull over to a safe spot on the side of the road. Call the cops to report the incident right away. Then, get the driver’s contact and insurance information, including their policy number. If they offer you a cash settlement on the spot, do not accept it because you might not be able to pursue a higher settlement later on.
You should gather evidence including photos of your injuries as well as damage to your motorcycle and other belongings. Snap pictures of the driver’s car and license plate, too. If there were witnesses, ask them what they saw, and write down if there are any traffic or surveillance cameras that may have captured the accident.
After you’ve finished collecting proof, go to the hospital and let the doctor know about the injuries you’re experiencing, even if they seem minor. Ask for X-rays and make sure you take recommended tests, go to additional doctors’ appointments, and take prescribed medication until you feel better.
If the driver’s insurance company calls you to offer you a settlement, it’s going to be too low. Don’t take it, and don’t tell them you are injured or offer too many details about the accident. Instead, call a personal injury lawyer instead.
What The W. Winston Briggs Law Firm Can Do For You
When you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, we will fight to get you compensation for damages including medical bills, loss of wages, repairs for your motorcycle, and pain and suffering. We’ve represented clients who had different injuries from motorcycle accidents including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, head injuries, and permanent scarring and disfigurement. We’re prepared to help you as well.
It’s time to reach out to The W. Winston Briggs Law Firm. Contact us online or call us at (404) 522-1500. We’ll stand by your side in your time of need and work hard to get you the compensation that’s rightfully yours.